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    Letters to the editor

    Readers’ views on Daniel Nava’s unlikely road to the Red Sox, an American’s Ramadan experience in Afghanistan, and lessons learned from an autistic daughter

    Daniel Nava.
    Daniel Nava.


    Great article by Joseph P. Kahn on Daniel Nava (August 11). I have known Daniel since he was a seventh-grader. I went to Stanford games when he was a batboy there, and I worked camps at Stanford when he used to climb in the net and shag balls for the coaches and bring us sodas. When he hit that grand slam in his first at-bat in the majors, a lot of local coaches were working together at a tryout at the high school where I have been the head coach for 32 years. There were 15 to 20 coaches with tears in our eyes when we heard the news. Seriously. Thanks for capturing the story.

    Bill Hutton

    Mathematics Teacher and Head Varsity Baseball Coach, Archbishop Mitty High School

    San Jose, California


    Nava is my favorite — I am 76 and have been a Red Sox fan since 1946. I spent two years in a TB hospital and was introduced to the Sox while lying in bed listening to the radio. I have had many favorites over the years but have followed Nava since that famous home run. It was nice to read something so positive and to reflect on his true personality. God bless Kahn for a job well done and for letting everyone know about this super guy.

    Elaine A. Barker

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    Excellent piece about Nava. I grow tired of reading about overpaid and underperforming prima donnas like David Ortiz (smashing the dugout phone) and Manny Ramirez (shoving the team’s traveling secretary). Kahn did a great job of capturing and sharing Nava’s competitive spirit and quality of character.

    Timothy J. Sullivan


    Undersized; unknown; scrappy work ethic . . . sounds a lot like Pedroia in 2007. In fact, this team made up largely of unknowns having a surprisingly successful season also sounds a lot like 2007.



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    I enjoyed “The Long Shot” and appreciated the insight it provided into the mind and heart of the Sox’ Nava. I couldn’t help but notice the striking contrast between the humble, hard-working Nava, who says, “I always believed if I gave it everything I’ve got and it wasn’t meant to be, I’d have no regrets,” and those who tell “white lies,” pad their resumes with falsehoods, and do whatever else it takes to land a job or move ahead, as described in “Hire Truth” just a few pages earlier. Whether we are corporate executives, middle school principals, bus drivers, or busboys, we would all do well to take a lesson from someone with the faith and integrity of Nava. I’m proud he plays for our team.

    James Marohn


    What a great guy Nava is. I’m an old Sox fan (Ted Williams era) and love the game. I fell in love with Nava the day he hit that grand slam off his first pitch. He hasn’t let me down. I’m putting his picture up with my other faves.

    Betty Fitzgerald



    Great story, how long until Hollywood notices? It’s like Rudy squared!


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    Jeff Holden’s essay about his Ramadan in Kabul (Connections, August 11) was amazing and insightful. It is so refreshing to hear of experiences with real people. We so often only know city names because of a battle there or only learn about religious affiliation or political parties. We rarely learn about individuals or about the character of the people. Our small part of the world just got a little broader.

    Lee Barba

    West Granby, Connecticut


    I rarely write letters to newspapers, but what a beautiful Connections essay by D. Alison Watt (“Strange Behavior,” August 4). As an educator and mother, I so appreciate this story. I

    work with these beautiful children whom the author is writing about. If more people could “give the benefit of the doubt” to people of different abilities, what a more understanding place we would have.

    Karen Paradise D’Ortenzio


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